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Case C-555/07 Kucukdeveci [2010]

Facts

  • German national legislation allowed for redundancy notice (in employment) to be calculated by only accounting for the employees age beyond the age of 25
  • The EU Directive (2000/78) provides for the equal treatment (including on the grounds of age) of people in employment
  • The Directive had not been implemented by Germany
  • Kucukdeveci was laid off with notice calculated in accordance with national rules from his private employer

Issue

  • Could Kucukdeveci rely on the directive horizontally (contrary to the usual rule set out in Marshall I [1986] that directive can only have vertical direct effect)?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • The directive mirrored a general principle of law (non-discrimination), allowing the directive to be relied upon
  • Opinion: this is difficult to reconcile with the rule that directive may not be interpreted as imposing obligations on individuals, a rule which was upheld in Faccini Dori [1994]
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